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					                                                      Travel




            Food,
            culture,
            Taipei…
            Honnus Cheung, CFO of Travelzoo’s
            Asia Pacific region, on how to enjoy
            your business travels to Taipei


      S
             haring close economic and cultural        like BenQ Corp., Foxconn Electronics       and be nestled on a beach along the city’s
             ties, Taipei is quite a familiar place    and Compal Electronics are stationed.      northeast coast within an hour. Food
             for Hong Kong business travellers,            When the workday is over, there is     lovers can rest assure that the city has its
      many of whom spend a good deal of                plenty to see outside of Shin Yi. One of   share of taste-bud friendly cuisines.
      their time in the city’s commercial              the greatest advantages of travelling in
      district of Shin Yi.                             Taiwan is that it is a small island with   Crisscrossing through Taipei
           The district is home to the world’s         a multicultural heritage ranging from      The Mass Rapid Transit is the most
      tallest completed skyscraper, Taipei             Chinese, Taiwanese aboriginals, and        convenient public transportation
      101, which houses many international             Japanese to Dutch. It also has varied      system in Taipei. Buy a refundable
      companies, and Neihu Technology                  natural landscapes; you can spend half a   Easy Card (available at the MRT
      Park, where top technology companies             day up in the Yangmingshan mountains       stations) and use it for travel on the

[ 60 ] A Plus   +   August 2009
                                         sure to stroll through the smaller lanes
                                                                                                   +61
                                                                                     of Natural Science and National Taiwan
                                         adjacent to the main street, as you are     Museum of Fine Arts, and be sure to
                                         likely to find more stores.                 visit Eslite Books, which made headlines
                                              Also along the blue line is Longshan   recently over its large planted building –
                                         Temple, a 271-year-old temple famous        colourful plants cover most of the
                                         for its benevolent deities, known to        building’s surface from its second-floor
                                         grant the many wishes of worshippers.       basement to the fourth floor.
                                         Locals love to worship and foreigners go
                                         there to admire the ancient architecture.   Accommodation
                                              Moving onto the red Danshui line,      The Far Eastern Plaza Hotel in Taipei,
                                         Shilin at Chientan station is Taipei’s      which is managed by Shangri-La
                                         biggest and most crowded night market.      Hotels and Resorts, was ranked 14th
                                         Find bargain deals at shops and street      in Travel + Leisure Magazine’s 2007
                                         vendors and enjoy numerous snacks           “Top 50 Hotels in Asia.” The hotel has
                                         including oyster omelette, stinky tofu,     a classy shopping mall and a City’super.
                                         spicy bean curd, Japanese tempura,          There are also a number of restaurants
                                         pearl milk tea, fried buns, shaved ice      and bars around the neighbourhood.
                                         with toppings and face-sized fried          Among them is Wind, a stylish
                                         chicken cutlets.                            restaurant serving modern Chinese
                                              Farther north are two of my            food opposite the hotel. People, a chic
                                         favourite stations: Xinbeitou and           bar and restaurant with a fusion of Zen
                                         Danshui. Xinbeitou is a quiet               and modern design, is hidden behind
                                         Japanese-style neighbourhood                a bamboo path and has an iron-built
                                         abundant with thermal springs. Spoil        door that requires you to push a hidden
                                         yourself in luxurious hotels like Spring    sensor before you can enter.
                                         Resort Villa 32 or Pacific Spa, enjoy           The Grand Regent Taipei is another
                                         the thermal springs, a healthy meal,        luxury hotel surrounded by shopping,
                                         then take a nap or hike around the          entertainment and culture. With an
                                         beautiful hills. Danshui is a historical    elegantly designed wooden interior,
                                         port where the Dutch and Spanish            the hotel caters mostly to Japanese and
                                         were stationed. Head there at four or       other foreign business travellers. The
                                         five o’clock when it is cooler, stroll      rooms are spacious and comfortable,
                                         along the river bank and enjoy the          with sofas, a working table and a daily
                                         view and music from street performers.      plate of fresh fruit. Within walking
                                         Near the end of the pedestrian walk,        distance of the hotel is Spot Taipei film
                                         past the bustling street vendors and        house and cafe – a historical landmark
                                         game stalls, you’ll find exquisite cafes    that was once the U.S ambassador’s
                                         offering a sunset view overlooking          residence – as well as the Taipei Fine
                                         the river.                                  Arts Museum, Mitsukoshi Department
MRT, bus and selected railway trains.         If you have some extra time,           Stores and Gucci and Louis Vuitton
For those with limited time, stops       Taichung on the west coast is only a        flagship stores.
along two major MRT lines will keep      40-minute ride on the Taiwan High               Taipei Fullerton Hotel’s five-star
you well entertained.                    Speed Train. Jinming First Street is a      services are impressive; guests can
     Between Zhongxiao Fuxing and        well-organized marketplace where you        expect in-room fax machines, Internet
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall stations       can find famous pearl milk tea. Tung        access and designer toiletries. The
along the blue Banqiao Nangang line      Hai Art Street also offers excellent        hotel’s location is also convenient, being
is a crowded shopping and dining         shopping, while the area around             adjacent to Shin Yi district, Neihu
area filled with fashion boutiques,      Jin Kuo Green Path has museums,             Technology Park, Nankang Software
department stores, high-end hair and     galleries, boutique shops and beautiful     Park, Taipei Songshan Airport and near
spa salons, restaurants and bars. Make   trees. Check out the National Museum        the Zhongxiao shopping district.

                                                                                                              August 2009   +   A Plus [ 61 ]
                                  Travel

                                           Must-dos
                                           • Thermal springs: Thanks to its geographic
                                             location, Taiwan is a thermal spring heaven.
                                             In addition to Xinbeitou, you can also go to
                                             Tien Lai Spring Resort, The Landis Resort
                                             Yangmingshan and Spring Park Hotel for a
                                             soothing bath and mountain views.
                                           • Food as gifts: There are numerous snacks to
                                             bring home. My favourite ones are pineapple
                                             cakes from Lee Chi cake store, beef jerky and
                                             dried meat from Black Bridge, stewed duck
                                             tongues and chicken claws from Lau Tian Lu,
                                             and Chinese tea from Ten Ren.
                                           • Taipei 101: As long as the skyscrapers in
                                             Shanghai and Dubai are under construction,
                                             Taipei 101 is still the tallest building in the
                                             world. Take a trip to the top floor for a fantastic
                                             panoramic view of the city. Two restaurants on
                                             the 85th floor, Sin Yeh and Diamond Tony, offer
                                             amazing views and are nice for both business
                                             and romantic gatherings.
                                           • Eslite Books Store: It offers a great reading
                                             environment and shopping experience with a
                                             range of books, music, stationeries, designer
                                             goods and coffee shops.




[ 62 ] A Plus   +   August 2009
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                                                             Info
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Dining Out                                                .......................................................................................................................................................................................
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Eating at Din Tai Fung is a must, as the restaurant       .......................................................................................................................................................................................
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is renowned for its steamed dumplings. The original          Hotels                                                                               Restaurants
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store is on Shin Yi Road, but since it is always             Shangri-La Far Eastern                                                               Tu Hsiao Yueh (Slack Season)
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                                                                                                                                                  度小月擔仔麵
crowded, I prefer to go to the one in Zhongxiao.             Plaza Hotel
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                                                             臺北遠東國際大飯店                                                                            Lane 8, Alley 216, No. 12, Section 4,
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     Visit Tu Hsiao Yueh (also known as Slack             .......................................................................................................................................................................................
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                                                             No. 201, Section 2,                                                                  Zhongxiao East Road, Taipei
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Season), which has been open since 1895 and is            .......................................................................................................................................................................................
                                                             Tun Hwa South Road, Taipei                                                           Tel. +886 (2) 2773-1244
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famous for Taiwan’s hearty and savoury Dan-tsu            .......................................................................................................................................................................................
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                                                             Tel. +886 (2) 2378-8888                                                              www.iddi.com.tw/
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noodles. They are also known for a stewed pork            .......................................................................................................................................................................................
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                                                             www.shangri-la.com/en/property/
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dish that originated in the mainland’s Fujian                                                                                                     Tai Ho Dien
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                                                             taipei/fareasternplaza
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province, as well as traditional cuisines such as                                                                                                 太和殿麻辣火鍋
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gold shrimp rolls, pig knuckles, deep fried oysters                                                                                               No. 315, Section 4,
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                                                             Grand Formosa Regent Taipei
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and steamed meatballs.                                                                                                                            Shin Yi Road, Taipei
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                                                             臺北晶華酒店
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     For those who enjoy spicy food, try out some            No. 41, Section 2,                                                                   Tel. +886 (2) 2705-0909
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of Taipei’s hot pots. Tai Ho Dien is a favourite                                                                                                  www.taihodien.com.tw/
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                                                             Chung Shan North Road, Taipei
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restaurant among many Hong Kong celebrities; the             Tel. +886 (2) 2523-8000
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                                                                                                                                                  Din Tai Fung
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                                                             www.grandformosa.com.tw
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beef is tender and succulent, especially after being      .......................................................................................................................................................................................
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dipped in spicy soup for just a few seconds. Tripod       .......................................................................................................................................................................................
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                                                                                                                                                  No. 218, Section 4,
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King is another popular restaurant with well-                Taipei Fullerton East Hotel
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                                                                                                                                                  Zhongxiao East Road, Taipei
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                                                             臺北馥敦飯店                        (南京館)
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trained waiters who bow 90 degrees each time.             .......................................................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                  Tel. +886 (2) 2721-7890
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                                                             No. 32, Section 5,
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They have a soup that is cooked in traditional            .......................................................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                  www.dintaifung.com.tw/ch/index.asp
                                                             Nanjing East Road, Taipei
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Chinese tripods for 24 hours using more than 30           .......................................................................................................................................................................................
                                                             Tel. +886 (2) 2763-5656
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kinds of Chinese herbs.                                                                                                                           Tung Sushi
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                                                             www.taipeifullerton.com.tw
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     Japanese food is my second favourite cuisine in                                                                                              同壽司
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Taipei. Tung Sushi is well known for its Japanese                                                                                                 1F, No. 22, Songshou Road, Taipei
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                                                             Spring Resort
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creations such as Brazilian roll (sushi rolled not with                                                                                           Tel. +886 (2) 2345-6879
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                                                             春天酒店
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seaweed but with avocado and raw salmon) and                 No. 18, You Ya Road, Beitou, Taipei
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                                                                                                                                                  Tripod King Spicy Hotpot
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double sushi (rice topped with urchin on romaine             Tel. +886 (2) 2897-2345
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                                                                                                                                                  (Ding Wang)
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lettuce). Another Japanese restaurant, Mitsui, serves        www.springresort.com.tw
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                                                                                                                                                  鼎王麻辣火鍋
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fresh seafood daily from the port. Morosawa, a            .......................................................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                  No. 89, Guangfu North Road, Taipei
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small family-owned restaurant whose owner is from            Bars
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                                                                                                                                                  Tel. +886 (2) 2742-2116
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Okinawa, provides authentic Japanese flavour and             Brown Sugar Jazz Club                                                                www.tripodking.com.tw/
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atmosphere. The place has tables at best for four and        and Restaurant
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all customers have to sit on tatami mats. Make sure to       No. 101, Sungren Road,
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                                                                                                                                                  Museum and bookshop
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book in advance.                                             Shin Yi District, Taipei
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                                                                                                                                                  National Taiwan Museum
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     Popular Taiwanese snacks can be found in night          Tel. +886 (2) 8780-1110
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                                                                                                                                                  of Fine Arts
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markets and street stalls. In addition to Shilin night       www.brownsugarjazzclub.com/
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                                                                                                                                                  國立台灣美術館
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market, head to Shi Da Road night market, an area            taipei/main.html
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                                                                                                                                                  No. 2, Section 1,
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close to National Taiwan Normal University and            .......................................................................................................................................................................................
                                                                                                                                                  Wu Chuan West Road, Taichung
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                                                             Champagne II
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famous for soy sauce braised foods and a Taiwanese                                                                                                Tel. +886 (4) 2372-3552
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                                                             No. 169, Section 2,
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version of crepes. Other street stalls can be found                                                                                               www.tmoa.gov.tw/english/home.php
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                                                             Anhe Road, Taipei
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along Tonghua Street and Liaoning Street.                 .......................................................................................................................................................................................
                                                             Tel. +886 (2) 6638-1880
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                                                                                                                                                  Eslite Books
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     As for nightlife in the city, Brown Sugar is a       .......................................................................................................................................................................................
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                                                             www.taiwanfun.com/north/taipei/
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                                                                                                                                                  誠品書店
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fantastic club and restaurant providing live jazz         .......................................................................................................................................................................................
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                                                             nightlife/0302/0302WaterHoles-                                                       No. 245, Section 1,
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music, singers and even salsa dances. Champagne           .......................................................................................................................................................................................
                                                             ChampagneTW.htm
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                                                                                                                                                  Dun Hua South Road, Taipei
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II serves a full range of champagnes with a               .......................................................................................................................................................................................
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                                                                                                                                                  Tel. +886 (2) 2775-5977
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fashionable atmosphere and great service. Barcode            Barcode
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has an eclectic interior design, with ’60s designer                                                                                               68 Gongyi Road, Taichung
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                                                             5F, No. 22, Songshou Road, Taipei
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chairs, a modern British bar, luxurious sofas and            Tel. +886 (2) 2725-3201                                                              Tel. +886 (4) 2328-1000
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an al fresco-style terrace. It also happens to serve                                                                                              www.eslite.com/index.aspx
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unforgettably tasty cocktails!                            .......................................................................................................................................................................................



                                                                                                                                                                                    August 2009         +    A Plus [ 63 ]

				
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